Welcome back. Clinton Young here with information that has the power to change your life. I know that’s a bold statement but what I’m about to share with you are skills that took me years to develop and have opened numerous amazing doors for me.
One of the most important skills you can develop in your entire life is the ability to connect with people, so when you walk away, they remember you. More on that in a minute.
First thing you need to do when you decide to start networking is to target “centers of influence” in the industry or community or in a specific targeted company that you want to work for, research them, google them, learn about them, and create insightful questions for them. Do your research and find things that you have in common with the person whom you want to meet. More on this in our “Building Rapport” videos.
Target events and places that they will naturally be at – charity events, golf, business networking events, interest groups, sporting events and attend.
Have a plan and intention before every networking event. When you arrive, sit in your car for a few minutes and visualize yourself meeting amazing people and feel what it would feel like being able to connect with and help them.
Create a business card – make it unique and creative. You can even do this if you’re in college and don’t have much experience. I did this in grad school and it worked wonders for me, although it does nothing if you don’t go out and connect with people who might be interested in learning the information you have on your card. I set mine up like a mini resume with relevant information (gpa, major, degree, topics of interest, work experience, desired opportunity etc – get creative).
When networking, don’t just hand out your card and don’t just ask people for a job or blab on about how you need a job. This is very annoying when people just hand you their card without having a connection. It should be the last thing you do in a conversation, not the first.
The 4 most important questions you can ask a “Center of Influence” at a networking event:
- Ask them what business they’re in (This makes anyone feel important, even if they don’t formally have their own business)
- Ask them what the biggest opportunities they’re seeing in their business right now are
- Ask them what the biggest challenges they’re having in their business right now are
- And then ask them how you can help them achieve their goals, solve their problems before even telling them about what you need or want
The key is to start talking first by asking them questions. Look for more in depth insights around networking and starting the conversation in our video on Building Rapport.
The key is to networking and truly connecting with people is to authentically care about helping other people get what they want. Zig Ziglar says the more people you help others get what they want, the more you will get what you want. I’ve found this to be incredibly true.
Stay tuned to learn more about the importance of becoming a master of rapport building on your search for your dream opportunity.
Create an excellent week.